Con Edison is on schedule to complete $1 billion in upgrade projects which it commenced for years ago in response to Hurricane Sandy, to protect its systems from severe weather events.
The upgrades included installation of submersible equipment, redesign of underground electrical networks, as well as installation of more than 1000 "smart" switches on its overhead system along with other measures intended to avoid outages in major storms. Those measures have already prevented more than 180,000 electrical outages.
Con Edison has spent $847 million on the upgrades, including $291 million in 2016, the last year of the program.
A key upgrade to the overhead electrical system is the installation of "smart switches" designed to isolate and clear trouble on lines. The result is fewer homes and businesses losing power when a tree, wind or heavy, wet snow brings down a line.
In Lower Manhattan, Con Edison redesigned two electrical networks, allowing operators to leave inland customers in service when the operators have to de-energize equipment to protect it from flooding.
More details on Con Edison’s efforts, which were prompted not just by Hurricane Sandy, but also by the prior damage from Hurricane Irene during the prior year, are detailed in the four-year Fortifying the Future storm hardening plan.